John 17:26
And I have declared to them your name, and will declare it: that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it.—The Greek word here rendered “declared” is of the same root as the verb rendered “known” in the previous verse. It is better to preserve this connection by rendering the clause, And I made known Thy name unto them, and will make it known. His whole teaching had been a making known of the name, character, will of God, to them. In part this had been received, but in part only. The first steps in the spiritual lessons had been taken, but in His Presence in the Paraclete He will guide them into all truth, and make known to hearts quickened to receive it, the love of God which passeth knowledge.

That the love wherewith thou hast loved (better, didst love) me may be in them, and I in them.—Comp. Note on John 15:9. The thought of Christ’s prayer in this verse is expanded in St. Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:17-19. It is more than that God may love the disciples, even as He loved the Son; it is that they may so know the nature of God that this love may be in them, dwelling in them as the principle of their life. And then the thought passes on to that fulness which has been present all through this last discourse and prayer, “and I in them.” (Comp. John 17:23.) Going from them, to be yet with them; not to be with them only as a Person without, but as a power within. “I in them” are the last words of the Intercessory Prayer. The words remain in all their comfort for them in whom “Christ is formed;” in all their encouragement for doubting hearts seeking to know God; in all their warning for hearts that do not seek His presence. They are the prayer of Him who knoweth that the Father always heareth Him.

John

THE HIGH PRIEST’S PRAYER

CHRIST’S SUMMARY OF HIS WORK

John 17:26
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This is the solemn and calm close of Christ’s great High-priestly prayer; the very last words that He spoke before Gethsemane and His passion. In it He sums up both the purpose of His life and the petitions of His prayer, and presents the perfect fulfilment of the former as the ground on which He asks the fulfilment of the latter. There is a singular correspondence and contrast between these last words to God and the last words to the disciples, which immediately preceded them. These were, ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’ In both He sums up His life, in both He is unconscious of flaw, imperfection, or limitation; in both He shares His own possessions among His followers. But His words to men carry a trace of His own conflict and a foreboding of theirs. For Him life had been, and for them it was to be, tribulation and a battle, and the highest thing that He could promise them was victory won by conflict. But from the serene elevation of the prayer all such thoughts disappear. Unbroken calm lies over it. His life has been one continual manifestation of the name of God; and the portion that He promises to His followers is not victory won by strife, but the participation with Himself in the love of God.

Both views are true-true to His experience, true to ours. The difference between them lies in the elevation of the beholder’s eye. Looked at on the outward side, His life and ours must be always a battle and often a sorrow. Looked at from within, His life was an unbroken abiding in the love of God, and a continual impartation of the name of God, and our lives may be an ever growing knowledge of God, leading to and being a fuller and fuller possession of His love, and of a present Christ. So let us ponder these deep words: our Lord’s own summing up of His work and aims; His statement of what we may hope to attain; and the path by which we may attain it. I shall best bring out the whole fullness of their meaning if I simply follow them word by word.

I. Note, first, the backward look of the revealing Son.

‘I have declared Thy name.’

The first thing that strikes one about these words is their boldness. Remember that they are spoken to God, at the close of a life the heights and depths of which they sum up. They are an appeal to God’s righteous judgment of the whole character of the career. Do they breathe the tone that we might expect? Surely the prophet or teacher who has most earnestly tried to make himself a mirror, without spot to darken and without dint to distort the divine ray, will be the first to feel, as he looks back, the imperfections of his repetition of his message. But Jesus Christ, when He looks back over His life, has no flaw, limitation, incompleteness, to record or to confess. As always so here, He is absolutely unconscious of anything in the nature of weakness, error, or sin. As when He looked back upon His life as a conflict, He had no defeats to remember with shame, so here, when He looks upon it as the revelation of God He feels that everything which He has received of the Father He has made known unto men.

And the strange thing is that we admit the claim, and have become so accustomed to regard it as being perfectly legitimate that we forget how enormous it is. He takes an attitude here which in any other man would be repulsive, but in Him is supremely natural. We criticise other people, we outgrow their teachings, we see where their doctrines have deviated from truth by excess or defect, or disproportion; but when He says ‘I have declared Thy name,’ we feel that He says nothing more than the simple facts of His life vindicate and confirm.

Not less remarkable is the implication in these words, not only of the completeness of His message, but of the fullness of His knowledge of God, and its entirely underived nature. So He claims for Himself an altogether special and unique position here: He has learned God from none; He teaches God to all. ‘That was the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’

Looking a little more closely at these words before us, we have here Christ’s own account of His whole life. The meaning of it all is the revelation of the heart of God. Not by words, of course; not by words only, but far more by deeds. And I would have you ask yourselves this question-If the deeds of a man are a declaration of the name of God, what sort of a man is He who thus declares Him? Must we not feel that if these words, or anything like them, really came from the lips of Jesus Christ, we are here in the presence of something other than a holy life of a simple humanity, which might help men to climb to the apprehension of a God who was perfect love; and that when He says ‘He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father,’ we stand before ‘God manifest in the flesh.’

What is that name of God which the revealing Son declares? Not the mere syllables by which we call Him, but the manifested character of the Father. That one name, in the narrower sense of the word, carries the whole revelation that Jesus Christ has to make; for it speaks of tenderness, of kindred, of paternal care, of the transmission of a nature, of the embrace of a divine love. And it delivers men from all their creeping dreads, from all their dark peradventures, from all their stinging fears, from all the paralysing uncertainties which, like clouds, always misty and often thunder-bearing, have shut out the sight of the divine face. If this Christ, in His weakness and humanity, with pity welling from His eyes, and making music of His voice, with the swift help streaming from His fingers-tips to every pain and weariness, and the gracious righteousness that drew little children and did not repel publicans and harlots, is our best image of God, then love is the centre of divinity, and all the rest that we call God is but circumference and fringe of that central brightness.

‘So through the thunder comes a human voice Saying, “O heart I made! a heart beats here.”‘

He has declared God’s name, His last best name of Love.

Need I dwell for one moment on the fact that that name is only declared by this Son? There is no need to deny the presence of manifold other precious sources in men’s experience and lives from which something may be inferred of what God truly is. But all these, rich and manifold as they are, fall into nothingness before the life of Jesus Christ, considered as the making visible of God. For all the rest are partial and incomplete. ‘At sundry times and in divers manners’ God flung forth syllables of the name, and ‘fragments of that mighty voice came rolling down the wind.’ But in Jesus Christ the whole name, in all its syllables, is spoken. Other sources of knowledge are ambiguous, and need the interpretation of Christ’s life and Cross ere they can be construed into a harmonious whole. Life, nature, our inmost being, history, all these sources speak with two voices; and it is only when we hear the deep note that underlies them in the word of Christ that their discord becomes a harmony. Other sources lack authority. They come at the most with a ‘may be.’ He comes with a ‘Verily, verily.’ Other sources speak to the understanding, or the conscience, or to fear. Christ speaks to the heart. Other sources leave the man who accepts them unaffected. Christ’s message penetrates to the transforming and assimilation of the whole being.

So, dear brethren! for all generations, and for this generation most of all, the plain alternative lies between the declaration of the name of God in Jesus Christ and a godless and orphan world. Modern thought will make short work of all other sources of certitude about the character of God, and will leave men alone in the dark. Christ, the historical fact of the life and death of Jesus Christ, is the sole surviving source of certitude, which is blessedness, as to whether there is a God, and what sort of a God He is.

II. Secondly, note here that strange forward look of the dying Man: ‘I have declared Thy name and will declare it.’

And that was said within eight and forty hours of the Cross, which, if He had been a simple human teacher and martyr, would have ended all His activity in the world. But here He is not merely summing up His life, and laying it aside, writing the last sentence, as it were, which gathers up the whole of the completed book, but He is closing the first volume, and in the act of doing so He stretches out His hand to open the second. ‘I will declare it.’ When? How? Did not earthly life, then, put a stop to this Teacher’s activity? Was there still prophetic function to be done after death had sealed His lips? Certainly.

That anticipation, which at once differentiates Him from all the brood of merely human teachers and prophets, even the highest, does indeed include as future, at the moment when He speaks, the swiftly coming and close Cross; but it goes beyond it. How much of Christendom’s knowledge of God depended upon the Passion, on the threshold of which Christ was standing? He, hanging on the Cross in weakness, and dying there amidst the darkness that overspread the land, is a strange Revealer of the omnipotent, infinite, ever-blessed God. But Oh! if we strike Gethsemane and Calvary out of Christ’s manifestation of the Father, how infinitely poorer are we and the world! ‘God commendeth,’ {rather ‘establisheth,’} ‘His love toward us in that whilst we were yet sinners Christ died for us.’ And so as we turn ourselves to the little knoll outside the gate, where the Nazarene carpenter hangs faint and dying, we-wonder of Wonders, and yet certainty of certainties!-have to say, ‘Lo! this is our God; we have waited for Him.’

But that future revelation extends beyond the Cross, and includes resurrection, ascension, Pentecost, and the whole history of the Church right onwards through the ages. The difference between the two volumes of revelation-that which includes the work of Christ upon earth, and that which includes His revelation from the heavens-is this, that the first volume contains all the facts, and the second volume contains His interpretation and application of the facts in the understandings and hearts of His people. We have no more facts from which to construe God than these which belong to the earthly life of Jesus Christ, and we never shall have, here at all events. But whilst the first volume to the bottom of the last page is finished and tolerates and needs no additions, day by day, moment by moment, epoch by epoch Christ is bringing His people to a fuller understanding of the significance of the first volume, and writing the second more and more upon their hearts.

So we have an ever-living Christ, still the active Teacher of His Church. Times of unsettlement and revolutionary change and the ‘shaking of the things that are made,’ like the times in which we live, are but times in which the great Teacher is setting some new lesson from the old Book to His slow scholars. There is always a little confusion in the schoolroom when the classes are being rearranged and new books are being put into old hands. The tributary stream, as it rushes in, makes broken water for a moment. Do not let us be afraid when ‘the things that can be shaken’ shake, but let us see in the shaking the attendant of a new curriculum on which the great Teacher is launching His scholars, and let us learn the new lessons of the old Gospel which He is then teaching.

III. Thirdly, note the participation in the Father’s love which is the issue of the knowledge of the Father’s name.

Christ says that His end, an end which is surely attained in the declaration of the divine name, is that ‘the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them.’ We are here touching upon heights too dizzy for free and safe walking, on glories too bright for close and steady gaze. But where Christ has spoken we may reverently follow. Mark, then, that marvellous thought of the identity between the love which was His and the love which is ours. ‘From everlasting’ that divine love lay on the Eternal Word which in the hoary beginning, before the beginning of creatures, ‘was with God, and was God.’ The deepest conception that we can form of the divine nature is of a Being who in Himself carries the Subject and the Object of an eternal love, which we speak of in the deep emblem of ‘the Word,’ and the God with whom He eternally ‘was.’ That love lay upon Christ, without limitation, without reservation, without interruption, finding nothing there from which it recoiled, and nothing there which did not respond to it. No mist, no thunderstorm, ever broke that sunshine, no tempest ever swept across that calm. Continuous, full, perfect was the love that knit the Father to the Son, and continuous, full, and perfect was the consciousness of abiding in that love, which lay like light upon the spirit of Him that said ‘I delight to do Thy will.’ ‘The Father hath not left Me alone.’

And all that love Christ gives to us as deep, as continuous, as unreserved. Our consciousness of God’s love is meant by Christ to be like His own. Alas! alas! is that our experience, Christian people? The sun always shines on the rainless land of Egypt, except for a month or two in the year. The contrast between the unclouded blue and continuous light and heat there, and our murky skies and humid atmosphere, is like the contrast between our broken and feeble consciousness of the shining of the divine love and the uninterrupted glory of light and joy of communion which poured on Christ’s heart. But it is possible for us indefinitely to approximate to such an experience; and the way by which we reach it is that plain and simple one of accepting Christ’s declaration of the Father’s name.

IV. And so, lastly, notice the indwelling Christ who makes our participation in the divine love possible: ‘And I in them.’

One may well say, ‘How can it be that love should be transferred? How can it be that the love of God to me shall be identical with the love of God to Christ?’ There is only one answer. If Christ dwells in me, then God’s love to Him falls upon me by no transference, but by my incorporation into Him. And I would urge that this great truth of the actual indwelling of Christ in the soul is no mere piece of rhetorical exaggeration, nor a wild and enthusiastic way of putting the fact that the influence of His teaching and the beauty of His example can sway us; but it is a plain and absolute truth that the divine Christ can come into and abide in the narrow room of our poor hearts. And if He does this, then ‘he that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit’; and the Christ in me receives the sunshine of the divine love. That does not destroy, but heightens, my individuality. I am more and not less myself because ‘I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.’

So, dear brethren! it all comes to this-we may each of us, if we will, have Jesus Christ for Guest and Inhabitant in our hearts. If we have, then, since God loves Him, He must love me who have Him within me, and as long as God loves Christ He cannot cease to love me, nor can I cease to be conscious of His love to me, and whatsoever gifts His love bestows upon Jesus, pass over in measure, and partially, to myself. Thus immortality, heaven, glory, all blessedness in heaven and earth, are the fruit and crystallisation, so to speak, of that oneness with Christ which is possible for us. And the conditions are simply that we shall with joyful trust accept His declaration of the Father’s name, and see God manifest in Him; and welcome in our inmost hearts that great Gospel. Then His prayer, and the travail of His soul, will reach their end even in me, and ‘the love wherewith the Father loved the Son shall be in me,’ and the Son Himself shall dwell in my heart.17:24-26 Christ, as one with the Father, claimed on behalf of all that had been given to him, and should in due time believe on him, that they should be brought to heaven; and that there the whole company of the redeemed might behold his glory as their beloved Friend and Brother, and therein find happiness. He had declared and would further declare the name or character of God, by his doctrine and his Spirit, that, being one with him, the love of the Father to him might abide with them also. Thus, being joined to Him by one Spirit, they might be filled with all the fulness of God, and enjoy a blessedness of which we can form no right idea in our present state.Thy name - See the notes at John 17:6.

And will declare it - After my resurrection, and by the influence of the Holy Spirit, Luke 24:45; Acts 1:3.

I in them - By my doctrines and the influences of my Spirit. That my religion may show its power, and produce its proper fruits in their minds, Galatians 4:19.

The discourse in John 14; 15; 16 is the most tender and sublime that was ever pronounced in our world. No composition can be found anywhere so fitted to sustain the soul in trial or to support it in death. This sublime and beautiful discourse is appropriately closed by a solemn and most affecting prayer - a prayer at once expressive of the profoundest reverence for God and the tenderest love for men - simple, grave, tender, sublime, and full of consolation. It is the model for our prayers, and with like reverence, faith, and love we should come before God. This prayer for the church will yet be fully answered; and he who loves the church and the world cannot but cast his eyes onward to that time when all believers shall be one; when contentions, bigotry, strife, and anger shall cease; and when, in perpetual union and love, Christians shall show forth the power and purity of that holy gospel with which the Saviour came to bless mankind. Soon may that happy day arise!

26. And I have declared—I made known or communicated.

thy name—in His past ministry.

and will declare it—in yet larger measure, by the gift of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost and through all succeeding ages.

that the love wherewith thou hast loved—lovedst.

me may be in them, and I in them—This eternal love of the Father, resting first on Christ, is by His Spirit imparted to and takes up its permanent abode in all that believe in Him; and "He abiding in them and they in Him" (Joh 15:5), they are "one Spirit." "With this lofty thought the Redeemer closes His prayer for His disciples, and in them for His Church through all ages. He has compressed into the last moments given Him for conversation with His own the most sublime and glorious sentiments ever uttered by mortal lips. But hardly has the sound of the last word died away, when He passes with the disciples over the brook Kedron to Gethsemane—and the bitter conflict draws on. The seed of the new world must be sown in Death, that thence Life may spring up" [Olshausen].

By the name of God, is to be understood God himself, and whatsoever God hath made himself known by his word and gospel, his attributes and perfections. And after my resurrection, I will yet further declare it to them, who are yet in a great measure ignorant and imperfect in their notions of thee; that thy love wherewith thou hast loved me may be further communicated to them, and be derived to them, and abide in and upon them for ever; because I am in them (so some would have it read, though the word be kagw, which properly is, and I, as we translate it). The words are but a repetition of what our Lord hath often said, and illustrated in, John 15:9, by the parable of the vine and the branches; and teach us this lesson, that Christ must be in those souls who can pretend to any share in that love of God wherewith he hath loved Christ: Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 2 Corinthians 13:5. And I have declared unto them thy name,.... Himself, his nature, his perfections, especially of grace and mercy, his mind and will, his Gospel; See Gill on John 17:6. A very fit person Christ was to make this declaration, since he was with him from all eternity, and was in his bosom; the Father did all in him, and his name is in him; and he is the faithful witness; nor is anything of God to be known savingly, but in and through Christ; the apostles are here particularly meant, though the same is true with respect to all that are given to Christ, who are his children and brethren, to whom he also declares the name of God:

and will declare it; more fully to them after his resurrection, during his forty days' stay with them, and upon his ascension, when he poured down his Spirit in such a plentiful and extraordinary manner upon them; and will declare it to others besides them in the Gentile world; and still more in the latter day glory, and to all believers more and more:

that the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them; that is, that a sense of that love with which God loves his Son, as Mediator, might be in them and abide in them, and which is the rather mentioned because they are loved by the Father with the same love, and share all the blessed consequences of it, the knowledge and sense of which they come at, through Christ's declaring his Father's name unto them; and which they will have a greater sense of, and will be swallowed up in it in heaven to all eternity:

and I in them; dwelling in them, taking up his residence in them; not only by his Spirit and grace here, but by his glorious presence with them hereafter; when they shall be brought to his Father's house, behold his glory, and be for ever with him.

{7} And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

(7) He communicates the knowledge of the Father with his own little by little, which knowledge is most full in Christ the mediator, that they may in him be beloved by the Father, with the selfsame love with which he loves the Son.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. have declared … will declare] Better, made knownwill make known. The verb is cognate with that rendered ‘know’ in John 17:25, and here as there the aorist is used, not the perfect. Christ knows the Father and makes known His name, i.e. His attributes and will (see on John 1:12), to the disciples. This imparting of knowledge is already accomplished in part,—‘I made known’ (comp. John 15:15); but the knowledge and the love which imparts it being alike inexhaustible, there is room for perpetual instruction throughout all time, especially after the Paraclete has been given,—‘I will make known’ (comp. John 14:26, John 16:13).

wherewith thou hast loved me] In the Greek we have a double accusative, as in Ephesians 2:4. ‘Hast loved’ should be didst love (see on John 17:4): but possibly this is a case where the English present might be admitted as the best equivalent of the Greek aorist (see on John 15:8).

may be in them] May rule in their hearts as a guiding principle, without which they cannot receive the knowledge here promised; for ‘he that loveth not, knoweth not God’ (1 John 4:8).

I in them] These last words of Christ’s Mediatorial Prayer sum up its purpose. They are the thread which runs through all these farewell discourses. He is going away, and yet abides with them. His bodily presence passes away, His spiritual presence remains for ever; not seen with the eye without, but felt as life and strength within. Having known Christ after the flesh, now they know Him so no more: they are in Christ, a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:16-17).John 17:26. Γνωρίσω, I will make known [‘declare’]) He did so, for instance, ch. John 20:17, “I ascend unto My Father and your Father;” with which comp. Hebrews 2:12, “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren; in the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto Thee.”—τὸ ὄνομά σου, Thy name) as Father, a most loving name.—ἡ ἀγάπηκἀγὼ, the love—and I) i.e. Thou and Thy love; and I and My love.—ἐν αὐτοῖς ᾖ, may be in them) that Thou mayest love them in themselves with the same love wherewith Thou lovest Me: that their heart may be the theatre and scene wherein is to be exercised this love.Verse 26. - Since they have "learned that thou sourest me," our Lord, to complete the awful monologue, adds, And I made known thy Name to them, pointing back to the ἐφανερωσάσου τὸ ὅνομα of Ver. 6. "To make manifest" is not equal in potency with "to make known, to cause them to know;" there is more direct work done in them and to them in order to effect knowledge. Our Lord also declares that he has done this already, but his work of manifestation and teaching are not complete. There is more and more for these to learn. And (γνωρίσω) I will make them to know it. A promise of Divine expansion reaching onward and outward forevermore. By the power of his Spirit, by his return to them in his resurrection-life, by the ministry of the Paraclete, he would prolong and complete the convincing process. In order that the love wherewith thou hast loved me (notice the unusual expression, ἡ ἀγάπη η{ν ἠγαπησάς; and cf. Ephesians 2:4) - the eternal love of the Father to the well-beloved Son - the love which has flowed forth upon him as the perfect Son of man, and Representative of man, upon him who laid down his life that he might take it again (cf. John 10:17) - may be in them; may alight on them as knowing, receiving, loving me (cf. John 16:27, "The Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me"). However much was involved in the utterance just quoted, in this closing utterance still more is conveyed. The waves on this boundless ocean of love pour in, one behind the other, each nobler and freighted with richer blessing than that which preceded; and the motive of this infinite fullness of eternal love being thus lavished upon them is added: I in them. On this profound suggestion he has already said much, but not until we reach these last words do they flash forth in all their mystic grandeur. His life will be so identified with their life, his abode so blended with their being, his life so repeated in their experience, his personality so much entwined and blended with theirs, that he in them, and because he is in them, prolongs and repeats himself as the Object of an eternal love. We see the same ideas in the Pauline teaching, and can only explain Galatians 1:16; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:9, 10, 11; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:19; Colossians 2:7; Colossians 3:4, as echoes of the class of teaching which, long before John had recorded the prayer in this form, had yet become the seed and life-principle of the Church. This is not only true of the closing verses, but of the whole prayer and preceding discourse.

5. Review of the difficulties attending the preservation and characteristics of this discourse and prayer. The sublime comprehensiveness of the prayer; its augmenting swell of thought; the awful depth of its self-consciousness; the limpid simplicity of its style; the movement from himself to his disciples, to the entire Church, to the outlying world; the ground on which he bases every prayer; the imperial dignity of the Pleader; the total absence of any sense of personal weakness or sinfulness; the revelation and insight thus granted into the heart of the God-man; its naturalness, if we concede the foregoing character; its profound humility, if we bear in mind his unique claims; - constitute this page a supernatural phenomenon. Christ himself is the greatest of his miracles. The supposition that some unknown writer of the second century excogitated such a conception out of the synoptic narrative, the Pauline Epistles, and the Alexandrine philosophy, refutes itself. We admit, with F. W. Newman, with Reuss, and with all the rationalist critics, that it is difficult to understand how the apostle could have reproduced so accurately this wondrous discourse and the prayer; but the author practically admits that it was a supernatural process of memory (John 14:25, 26). Still, there are facts enough in the natural sphere and within the knowledge of all, that such extraordinary efforts of memory are by no means uncommon. John was the contemporary of men whose surprising memory held the whole 'Mishna' and thousands of illustrative comments, 'Halacha,' and 'Hagada' ready for constant reference and application. The rishis of India, the Greek rhapsodists, mediaeval minnesingers, and wandering bards, have had imprinted indelibly and verbally on their recollection ten or twenty times the bulk of this wondrous discourse. John was young, impressionable, intimately acquainted with his Lord, though needing many things to complete his apprehension of his glory; and, even apart from Divine or spiritual aid, there is no reason to dispute its accuracy. The impression that this discourse and prayer have produced on the general consciousness of the Church, is, that none but Christ could have uttered these words, and he only at such a conjuncture. Keim insists that John, if it were he, by this narrative annihilates the synoptic tradition of the agony in the garden. And we do not deny that the intercalation of that agony between this prayer and the sublime manner in which Jesus meets the band of soldiers, renders a harmony of the Gospels at this point very difficult. The difficulty does not so much arise from the fact that the profound and awful strife should follow upon this sublime and lofty calm, upon this imperial and Divine prerogative, but that throughout the Johannine recital of the events which occurred on the night of betrayal and Passion, the same exalted demeanor is preserved, and numerous incidents and sayings are recorded which appear discrepant with the utter prostration and overwhelming affliction revealed in the synoptic narrative. This contrast must not be minimized, and cannot be disputed. The question to be decided is whether the twofold aspect of the scene can possibly represent the truth, or whether it proceeds from the theological prepossessions of a later writer, who imagined the behavior of the incarnate Logos under these conditions without any real and deep foundation in reality. By way of preface to an expository treatment, it is desirable to observe that John throughout received impressions from his Lord of a profoundly different character from that of the other observers, and throughout he saw the Divine manifestation which, while they witnessed it, they did not penetrate as he had done. The veil of the human phenomena concealed much from their spiritual apprehension. The different manner in which the same event is described by two witnesses, and the different constructions put upon the same action when viewed with diverse presuppositions, is of too common occurrence to need illustration. Luke represents the tradition concerning the Son of man in the hour of his deepest dejection. John represents what he saw of the ineffably Divine element which triumphed over the human. The angle of vision was different, the sensitive brooding and susceptible nature of John was unlike the impetuous human passion of Peter's soul, and the resultant impression on them both of the whole cycle of events was correspondingly different. Then let it be noticed that John, who knew the synoptic narrative, deliberately omitted what had passed into universal credence, such as the Transfiguration, the Holy Supper, and the Ascension: why was he not at liberty to omit the agony in the garden and the traitor's kiss? He takes up his story after the surprise was over, and when the Lord had resumed the tone of the voluntary Sufferer and Divine Savior; and if we compare the two descriptions of that scene, they supplement and explain one another. Numerous incidents throughout the closing scenes, which are omitted by John, are recorded by one or more of the evangelists, and some facts and words are peculiar to the Johannine narrative. These omissions from and additions to the synoptic narrative have been supposed to reveal the purpose of the theologian rather than the record of the eyewitness. It is rashly asserted that John omits the symptoms of human weakness and shame, and exaggerates the signs of Divine indwelling and of lofty prerogative. This, however, is by no means true. He does omit the agony in the garden, but he gives in John 12. the analogue of that awful scene, and the same Divine spirit with which it was consummated. He omits the "traitor's kiss," but he hints the occurrence of that crowning treachery. He does omit the record of the desertion by the disciples, but (John 16:32) he records the prediction of it. He omits the incident of the false witness and the adjuration, but it should in all fairness be remembered that he also omitted the great confession of the Lord's Messiah-ship and exaltation; and while he passes by the incidents of the mockery of the Lord, he records other matters and methods of mockery which are equally humiliating (John 19:12). If he omits the examinations before Caiaphas and Herod, he gives that which the synoptic tradition had lest sight of in the first examination before Annas and in the private interview with Pilate. The hand-washing of Pilate and the dream of his wife are passed over, but the conduct of Pilate is made far more intelligible by that private interview. The evangelists Luke and Matthew both record features of sorrow and words from the cross and pot-tents attending the Crucifixion, which confer a royal prerogative and a Divine significance on his death. The rending of the veil, the confession of the centurion, the great earthquake, the supernatural darkness, the repentance and acceptance of the dying brigand, - all these we might reasonably expect, on the theory of theological prepossession, to have been found in the Fourth Gospel; and what is more remarkable still on that hypothesis is that the most peculiar and pathetic feature of the last hours is an exhibition of Christ's perfect humanity and filial love, which the other narrators fail to touch (John 19:25-27). We conclude, therefore, that the matters in which the narratives agree are abundant and remarkable, and their divergences cannot be accounted for on the ground of theological bias. The exposition of the following chapters will bring the several lacunae, correspondences, and peculiarities into yet fuller prominence.



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